Russia threatens to leave the European robotic arm out of work

The chairman of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, in another Tweet ordered the astronauts not to use the European robotic arm on board the ISS. This jeopardized the spacewalk, which is scheduled to take place on July 21.

European Robotic Arm (ERA). Source: ESA

Russia threatens not to use the European robotic arm

After the news that the European Space Agency (ESA) finally refused to cooperate with the Russians on the ExoMars project, everyone expected a reaction from the latter. And it was not long in coming. Dmitry Rogozin wrote another formidable tweet. In it, he accused his colleague Josef Aschbacher of sabotaging the mission.

The day before, the head of the ESA directly stated that the reason for such a step is Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine. Under these conditions, there can be no question of any cooperation. Therefore, the parties are negotiating the return of their property, which remained with the former partner.

At the same time, the Russians conduct negotiations in their characteristic boorish and aggressive manner. Rogozin has already ordered the cosmonauts not to use the European robotic arm installed on the Russian Nauka module. The last one is known for the fact that last year, after docking, it almost sent the ISS into an uncontrolled flight.

Threat to spacewalks

The inability to use the European robotic arm calls into question the future spacewalk. This operation is scheduled for July 21 and ESA representative Samantha Cristoforetti and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev will take part in it. The last one, together with his comrades, unfurled the “flags” of the LPR and the DPR at the station, so it is quite possible to expect that he realizes the current threat.

The demarche with the flags of terrorist organizations caused criticism from NASA on July 7. And on July 12, during a press conference dedicated to the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, the administrator of the American Space Agency, Bill Nelson, repeated that politics has no place on the ISS. 

In general, NASA maintains a fairly balanced position regarding cooperation with Russia. The administration still hopes to reach an agreement with the aggressor country regarding the exchange of seats in spacecraft. The start of the first of them should take place in August. But Nelson believes that the time for signing the agreement has not yet been completely exhausted. Although, if the Russians start openly sabotaging the work at the station, everything may change.

According to

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